Star of Goliath
A SONG CYCLE WITH VISUALS
ON PALESTINE AND ISRAEL
Dave Lippman’s 2004 visit to Palestine and Israel resulted in a multimedia piece, “Star of Goliath,” which encapsulates modern Holy Land history and imperial machinations, with attention to varying Jewish views on Israel and the struggle for Palestinian survival and sovereignty. Songs, slides and sounds to open hearts and minds.
DVD discontinued. Watch new, refurbished version on line.
Some will rob you
What They’re Saying
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:
Boldly addressing the history of Zionism and anti-Zionism, the Wall, Israeli military incursions, and the Right of Return, Lippman attempts to understand his Israeli cousins by juxtaposing typical Zionist justifications with the brutal realities of the occupation. The presentation is a triumph and represents the leaps acivists have made in developing creative educational tools.
Tomales Peace Cafe, California:
I saw this show recently and was moved to tears. Usually Dave provokes tears
of laughter–this is different, but also good. The slides are beautiful, and
he combines taped sounds from Palestine and some amazing quotes with his own
commentary, accompanied by his great guitar playing. It’s a sobering show,
but presented beautifully and truly worth seeing, if you’re at all
interested in what’s going on in Palestine and Israel.
One of our founding myths is the emptiness of the land. If settlers did push
Indians aside, they were few and feckless and needed to be civilized anyway.
When Indians and their allies recovered the memory of hundreds of nations and
millions of people run over in the European conquest, those responsible for
national myth upkeep argued back, cooking the numbers and throwing into doubt
the existence of whole peoples.
The founding myths of Israel are more recent, but they sound familiar. We
hear echoes in the Zionist slogan, “A land without people for a people without
land.” The area was an empty wasteland that would be made to bloom by the new
inhabitants, whose historical destiny was surely to settle there just as it
was manifest destiny for persecuted Europeans to settle the Indian Americas.
Dave Lippman, in his new musical multimedia prose-poem, “Star of Goliath,”
goes back to the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the myth of an
Plant a tree for Israel
they told me as a child …
As if the people there
Were never farmers
for 14 centuries.
The show mixes the photographs and sounds of occupied Palestine with quotes
from early Zionism and its critics, and tells in song the story of the settler
land grab, the bulldozer democracy, the apartheid conditions. Lippman reports
on the resistance to the separation wall that cuts off farmers from wells,
orchards from villages, workers from their livelihood, and people from each
other. And he conveys the voices, faces and names of those who reclaim memory
to reinforce the reality of a place called Palestine.
Lippman is an accomplished songwriter and satirist who travels from funny and
scathing to serious and scathing, stopping along the way for reflection. He
is perhaps best known for his character George Shrub, the singing CIA agent.
On a trip to Palestine in 2004, Lippman, who is Jewish, blogged his way
through the stubborn towns, refugee camps and checkpoint-choked cities of the West
Bank and Gaza, interviewing opponents of the occupation–Israeli and
Palestinian–and emerging with an eyewitness report that demolishes widespread
illusions with warmth, vivid detail and exceptional artistry.
The West Bank town Jayyous is surrounded by five settlements and bisected by
We sit on the roof in the evening and look out at the sea,
but mainly at the pretty lights, of the five colonies
in a ring around the village,
like a noose, like a nightmare,
from which a whole town can’t wake up
this is goin nowhere
Special roads for settlers only, unattainable permits required for water, for
building, for traveling, settlers who thug their way around Palestinian
towns, the seizure of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities when left
‘vacant,’ banned books, arbitrary detentions, water theft and everywhere walls,
fences, roadblocks and checkpoints cordoning, segmenting, and strangling
towns–these are the details of occupation that never make it into the newspapers
here. “Water is not scarce here, it’s just poorly shared / some folks need it to
grow food, others for swimming pools…”
It’s hard to swim against the waves of disinformation in the U.S. media about
Israel and Palestine. The premises are all wrong, so our brains sputter
incoherently, choked with bad data and unexplained contradictions. Star of
Goliath is the antidote to mealy-mouthed punditry about the occupation of Palestine.
Catch it as an (occasional) part of the Wheels of Justice Bus Tour.
Lippman Palestine Blog (2004)
(source of Goliath text and lyrics)